Massive Dumps and Bears

Written by Matthew Fox. Posted in Round the World 2013 - ??

So winter eventually arrived with 5m of snowfall in February and March doubling the amount of snow lying on the mountain and making for some awesome powder days; in fact February was only 21cm away from breaking the resort record for the month. The cumulative snowfall for the season is now almost 900cm with still more in the forecast. When you come to a place like Whistler even a year with a low snowfall can turn around and become awesome, and with signs of a large Il Nino starting to develop in the Pacific next year’s snow season could be pretty awesome. Hopefully we will be able to get some mountain time when we drop in to the lower 48 states of the USA next Autumn/Winter.


All good things must come to an end and Spring is definitely in the air, Whistler Mountain has now closed for snow fun and over the next month will turn from winter playground in to the world’s most famous mountain bike Mecca. Blackcomb mountain will still be open for some playing in the snow until late may, the lower slopes of Blackcomb are starting thaw and local bears are definitely awake. Liz was convinced she heard a bear sniffing at our front door a few weeks ago, Matt, however, believes it was a housemate snoring it seems we will never agree on what it was! Most of the snow is now falling on higher parts of the mountain, but even as recently as this week we have had snowfall at Village level.


Roxy and Lola came out of their temporary hibernation last month in time for the Dual Sport BC spring ride out which was in Chilliwack (the same as the ride in October). We went and enjoyed some fantastic weather; Matt went riding around the forests with some local riders while Liz soaked up some sunshine. The ride around the forest was a mixture of forest roads and some tarmac connection - the 100km was easily covered in around 3 hours in time for a nice BBQ lunch provided by the club.

After the ride we enjoyed a beery couple of days in Vancouver and we found an awesome place, Craft Beer Market, with of 140 beers on tap; we even noticed London Pride was available. We only tried about 5% of the selection and stuck to local brews, but had some lovely IPAs and Liz found a Hefewiezen with green tea developed by a local brewer (Deep Cove – Sun Kissed Tea Saison) that she was pretty keen on. We stayed downtown thanks to some hotel vouchers we were given as presents before we left England. Our final day in Vancouver was spent exploring the Granville Island Markets, we could quite easily have spent a lot of money on some awesome local produce, but instead we just smelt the smells and soaked up the atmosphere but I’m sure we’ll find some nice food when we go through the Okanagan Valley at the end of the summer.

In just over 2 weeks we hit the road and ride north to either Fairbanks or Inuvik via Vancouver Island, we haven’t decided on our northern turnaround point yet as we think we’ll make a decision in Dawson City based on weather and the status of the Dempster Highway. We’re really looking forward to days in the wilderness, getting some miles in and being away from the comforts of civilization for a few weeks before returning to Whistler for 2 months.